Lost therapeutic potential of monocyte-derived dendritic cells through lost tissue homing: stable restoration of gut specificity with retinoic acid

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SummaryHuman monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) (MoDC) are utilized for immunotherapy. However, in-vitro immunological effects are often not mirrored in vivo. We studied the tissue-homing potential of MoDC. Circulating monocytes and DC expressed different tissue-homing markers and, during in-vitro development of MoDC, homing marker expression was lost resulting in a ‘homeless’ phenotype. Retinoic acid (RA) induced gut-homing markers (β7 and CCR9) and a regulatory phenotype and function [decreased human leucocyte antigen D-related (HLA-DR) and increased ILT3 and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC-dextran uptake) in MoDC]. RA-MoDC were less stimulatory and primed conditioned T cells with a gut-homing profile (β7+CLA). Unlike the normal intestinal microenvironment, that from inflamed colon of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients did not induce regulatory properties in MoDC. However, RA-MoDC maintained their regulatory gut-specific properties even in the presence of UC microenvironment. Therefore, MoDC may be ineffectual for immunotherapy because they lack tissue-homing and tissue-imprinting specificity. However, MoDC rehabilitation with gut-homing potential by RA could be useful in promoting immunotherapy in pathologies such as UC.

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